Why FREE is a Dirty Word within Insurance Related Claims -Storm Damage Restoration

A free inspection, free upgrades, free warranty, and even a offering a homeowner a free roof sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? But, the problem for roofing contractors is the word “free” can cause a lot of problems that come back to haunt you. For many years, the roofing industry has relied on the notion of a “free roofing inspection” to get people interested in letting contractors up on the roof to perform an inspection. But the idea that the inspection is free puts you on the wrong foot right out of the gate. People need to understand that your time is valuable, but that you are willing to provide an assessment of the storm damage to their home as part of the insurance restoration process.


From the first time you contact a customer, either by knocking on the door, or working with a professional roofing leads and appointment setting company like Storm 911, it’s important to start building value and setting yourself apart from your competition. Instead of just pushing the free inspection, take some time and explain exactly what you will be doing and how your inspection will benefit the homeowner. Set yourself up as the expert from the beginning and watch your sales soar.


“Free” also implies that your inspection is an estimate, one of many the homeowner is likely to get. Many roofing sales people come down off the roof just to find they are dealing with a homeowner who is collecting estimates from several contractors. By failing to explain the insurance restoration process upfront, and push the free inspection angle instead, roofing contractors devalue their own time, and erode their ability to make the sale, then and there.


When you determine the roof has damage it’s tempting to announce “the good news” that you can get the homeowner a “free” roof. This sets the expectation that there won’t be any out of pocket expenses, which is not true in most cases.   Roofers who use the “free” roof angle often find themselves struggling to collect deductibles, let alone being able to sell upgrades that might not be covered by insurance.


Once the contingency is signed and the adjuster has confirmed damage on the roof, many roofers make the mistake of giving away free upgrades, or a free warranty. Instead of giving away these items for free, use them to build value and credibility with your customer. After all, your customers today can be a great source of referrals. In many areas that get hit with storms frequently, loyal customers mean repeat business. Instead of giving away the farm, show people what you are doing to help them, and frame it in that light and you will reap tremendous returns.